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Textiles, Paintings, and Collected Works of Art at the Museum Of Art

October 21, 2009

Alice Spencer “Sarong” acrylic on gesso and sand on board, 51” x 30”

Two new exhibitions, “Alice Spencer: Fabricating Time,” and “Artists Collect,” will be presented at the Museum of Art, Friday, Oct.30 through Dec. 14, 2009. A preview reception is set for opening night from 5 to 7 p.m. 

“Alice Spencer: Fabricating Time” features 21 colorfully patterned original textiles from around the world that served as inspiration for the vivid, contemporary paintings of Maine artist Alice Spencer.

“Artists Collect”features drawings, paintings, prints, and photographs by renowned artists collected by other artists and donated to the Museum of Art.

Both exhibitions focus on the art of collecting objects as a source of inspiration, to learn about other cultures, as representational objects reflective of an individual artist’s body of work, or for objects valued for their intrinsic and aesthetic value.

The preview reception, exhibitions, and accompanying educational programs are open to the public free of charge.

Alice Spencer: Fabricating Time

“Alice Spencer: Fabricating Time,”features textiles from Bhutan, China, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan. The 21 pieces include wall hangings, ceremonial panels, floor coverings, clothing, and tent panels. These hand-woven, embroidered, resist dyed and pieced textiles were all acquired by Spencer from the societies where they were made and used, often from the actual maker or owner.

Spencer, whose eclectic collection has been built during the past 30 years, studies original textiles not only to learn more about various cultures, but to use them as visual references that inspire and inform her work. The paintings showcased in “Fabricating Time” reflect how her in-depth analysis of the construction of the textiles is translated into richly modified compositions with subtle graphic patterns.

Spencer has worked in a variety of mediums including watercolor, acrylics and oils, as well as monotype printmaking and low-relief sculpture. For the past 25 years, her work has been shown extensively throughout Maine, New England and New York and has been featured in exhibits in U.S. embassies in Chile and Bosnia Herzegovina.

She was one of 10 women painters featured at the United Nations "Ingredients for Peace" celebration held in New York in March 2001. Her paintings and prints are included in numerous museum and corporate collections including the Portland Museum of Art, Colby College Museum of Art, Simmons College, United Technologies and UNUM Corporation.

Spencer is a co-founder of Peregrine Press, a printmaking cooperative in Portland, and teaches printmaking at the Maine College of Art continuing studies program and the Haystack School of Crafts in Deer Isle. She serves on the board of the Maine College of Art and is chairman of the City of Portland Public Art Committee.

Artists Collect
Running concurrently, “Artists Collect” features 23 drawings, prints, paintings, and ceramics created by well-known local artists including Sigmund Abeles, Beverly Hallam, John Hatch, Elyot Henderson, David Kupferman, John Laurent, Edwin and Mary Scheier, Winifred Clark Shaw, and Herbert Waters.

In association with these exhibited pieces, works of art originally collected by the artists and donated for inclusion in the Museum of Art’s permanent collection will be spotlighted. Works by artists in this category include William S. Eickhorst, Utagawa Hiroshige, Yasuo Kuniyoshi,  Bernard Karfiol, Lawrence Kupferman, Robert Laurent, Barry Moser, Janvie Rollande, Henry Varnum, and Peter Voulkos.

How these privately collected works may have served as sources of inspiration or further influenced the artists’ individual technique will be examined. Correlations or contrasts between the works in terms of subject, composition, or style, as well as how each work enhances the Museum of Art’s permanent collection will also be explored. 

Museum of Art exhibitions and accompanying programs are funded in part by the Friends of the Museum of Art, the Museum’s membership organization.

The Museum of Art is open during the academic year Monday - Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 1to 5 p.m.; closed Fridays and university holidays, including Nov. 25 through Nov. 29.

Guided group tours for schools and other organizations are available with advance reservation by contacting Catherine Mazur, education and publicity coordinator, at catherine.mazur@unh.edu or 2-3713. 

For more information, contact the Museum of Art at 2-3712, museum.of.art@unh.edu or visit www.unh.edu/moa.

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